As Thai tennis player Tamarine Tanasugarn perfectly puts it: It is a bittersweet feeling to see the WTA Finals in Singapore come to an end this year. So make sure you nab your last chance to catch all your favourite tennis stars in person as they play and mingle in sunny Singapore at the fifth and final edition of the Women’s Tennis Association Finals staged at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 21-28.
The 10-day tennis tournament will not only welcome 12 iconic WTA figures who will serve as Legend Ambassadors, including celebrated Billie Jean King (founder of the WTA), but will also include a line-up of trailblazing qualifiers, including the much-raved about US Open champion Naomi Osaka. The 20-year-old Japanese player has qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time, and is now the third woman to book her spot at the crown-jewel event, after world No.1 Simona Halep and Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.
The qualification is reflected in the Porsche Race to Singapore, which comprises 52 WTA tournaments and four Grand Slams across 30 countries where players vie for a top-eight place to compete at the finals in Singapore. Though we’re excited to learn who the other five single players to be confirmed for the WTA Finals in Singapore are, we also look forward to the series of fringe happenings and activities throughout the festival. From WAU Live 2018, which sees a sizzling array of local and regional talents taking the stage (from our very own Joanna Dong to Hong Kong superstar Wakin Chau) to Grammy performance by award-winner Jason Mraz at the National Stadium on October 27, which will be his one and only stop in Asia this year.
Also, be sure to experience sporting sumptuousness at The Racquet Club’s hospitality suites. We’re talking premium seats for matches and access to the Aces Lounge for freshly prepared cuisine and free-flow wine. You may even get to experience meet-and-greet sessions with a couple of tennis legends here.
Seeing as this is the final year that the finals are to be held in Singapore, it also marks the end of a solid partnership between the WTA Finals in Singapore and Porsche. Here, we talk to Dr Henrik Dreier, the Singapore general manager of Porsche Asia Pacific, to understand more about this prestigious pairing.
Porsche and the WTA Finals in Singapore
What is it about women’s tennis that Porsche is so passionate about?
It all began over 40 years ago when Porsche’s relationship with women’s tennis was born. Porsche AG sponsored the first Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany in 1978. The synergy between Porsche and WTA is natural and compelling — it is built on the shared values and attributes of uncompromising precision, quality, high-calibre performance and excellence, which are all qualities that have become synonymous with both brands.
In 2015, Porsche in Singapore sealed its long standing commitment to women’s tennis with its sponsorship to the WTA Finals Singapore — creating the perfect doubles team with a title sponsor for the WTA Finals qualification campaign, the “Porsche Race to Singapore”. This sponsorship emphasises the importance of women’s tennis for Porsche and is an ode to the joint values of the sport and our brand. This is the fourth year that Porsche in Singapore is partnering with WTA Finals in Singapore, making it one of the most important international sporting events on the global women’s tennis calendar.
How do you feel about the end of Singapore’s run as host city of the WTA Finals?
Hosting the WTA Finals in Singapore has been a great experience for Porsche. We’ve received great visibility and value for our brand, alongside the growth of WTA as a major international sporting event, in terms of its prominence, size and stature.
Any thoughts about Shenzhen as the next host city?
Shenzhen is a dynamic city, with a vast population which will help further expand the WTA name globally. I’m sure it will be a great location for the WTA Finals to thrive and on behalf of Porsche, I wish them the very best of luck.
Which woman tennis player are you rooting for to win this year?
Angelique Kerber! There are many promising players in the WTA Finals in Singapore this year. However, Angelique has been a Porsche brand ambassador since 2015 and is an outstanding player with great charm and spirit. We are very proud with the many successes she has achieved over the years, and we are honoured to have her involved with our brand, such as the 2016 Cayman launch in Singapore. We look forward to seeing her again, and we wish her all the best for the 2018 WTA Finals in Singapore.
What sports do you play?
I enjoy playing tennis from time to time, but not professionally of course. Another sport I really enjoy is basketball, which I played quite seriously when I was younger, but is now more of a recreational activity, that I enjoy with my daughter.
The winner of the Porsche Race to Singapore — the player who sits at No.1 in singles leading into the WTA Finals — will not only seal a spot at the season-ending showpiece, but also be congratulated with a new Porsche 718 Boxster GTS.
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